The dates should be all about you – and not your children - but at the same time your children will impinge on every aspect of how you arrange and progress them. Here are 8 tips for successful dating as a single parent.
Be honest with your date...
The first rule is to be upfront. When you sign up for an online dating service such as Single Parent Match, make sure your profile is clear that you are a single parent and mentions the age of your children. The rest of the profile is just about you and your interests.
...but don’t let the date be about your children
Do remember that there is a difference between being open and obsessed. The first date should be about you, not your children. If things work out, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share your love of them and their achievements.
Make time for your dates
Many single parents wonder when they will ever have the time to date. The answer is that if you want to find the time, you will. Call in favours and get a babysitter prepared to stay up late. Be frank with your date about your relative lack of flexibility. They should understand that you need notice to find the right time for your next meet up.
Make sure that you understand enough about someone, and they about you, before you agree to make time for a date. You just don’t have the time to go on a date that you know cannot go further.
It’s easy to feel that only another parent can understand your life but this is simply not true. Indeed it can be simpler if there is just one of you with commitments all over the place. Keep your options open and remember that you are more than just a parent yourself.
Be honest with your children
Just as you need to be honest about your children, you should also be honest with them. Let them know that you are meeting someone new, but you should keep things matter of fact. If they ask how it went, don’t keep your answers short and simple before discreetly moving the conversation on.
Wait to introduce someone new
Children can quickly form attachments, so it’s not wise to introduce them to someone new until you are certain your relationship is becoming serious and stable. It’s up to you when you consider this to be, but do avoid thinking that after, say, a third date, it’s time your partner met the kids. Take your time introducing a potential partner to your children – there’s no hurry.
Listen to your children
It’s important that once you have introduced your date you listen to the opinions of your children. Single parent dating is not just about you, even if you have the final say. Similarly, never let the possibility of a date interfere with other family commitments. It’s a real juggling act but you are a past master at that already, aren’t you?
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/_davdog/2368267472